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How Resveratrol Can Help Boost Your Immune System

By Wednesday 15 April 2020No Comments

Dr Philip Norrie – ‘The Wine Doctor’ – invented the world’s first full-strength resveratrol enhanced wine. He explains how resveratrol can help boost immune systems during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

The world is in the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is not the first pandemic and certainly will not be the last pandemic to infect the world – think of the Spanish Flu in 1918-19, the Asia Flu in 1957-58, the Hong Kong Flu in 1968-69 and the Swine Flu in 1976. These were all variations of the influenza virus.

With the rise in mass global air travel came the possibility of the rapid spread of infections – especially viral infections causing respiratory infections. The first of these new age rapidly-spreading infections was the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003; which was followed in 2012 by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Now we have another coronavirus – Covid-19.

Because these pandemics are mainly caused by viruses, we have to rely on our immune system to fight off these viruses, because they are not bacterial infections which could be killed by antibiotics. There are only a few different types of antiviral drugs and they are usually expensive.

So how can we improve our immune system to protect us from these various infections – now and in the future? Not smoking is a good start because most infections eventually cause a respiratory system infection such as pneumonia which can kill the infected person. Staying fit and healthy are also very important, as well as eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants. This is where resveratrol comes into its own.

An article was published in 2017 by BMC Infectious Diseases, showing how resveratrol was able to control the MERS coronavius infection in vitro – that is in laboratory trials. The article was titled ‘Effective Inhibition of MERS CoV Infection by Resveratrol’ by Lin, S.C. et al. It identified the various ways that resveratrol was able to not only inhibit MERS CoV infection but also other emerging RNA viruses.

Another recent pro-resveratrol article was published in 2019 by Nutrients. It was titled ‘Influence of Resveratrol on the Immune Response’ by Malaguarnera, L. et al. This article also identified various ways resveratrol was able to boost our immune system. The article concluded, “The effects of this biologically active compound on the immune system are associated with widespread health benefits for different autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases.”

For the biochemists and medically trained – the various possible antiviral mechanisms postulated by which resveratrol inhibits viral infections include the following:

1. Activate ERK ½ signaling pathway.

2. Enhance SIRT 1 signalling – both of these help cell survival and DNA repair in response to DNA damage from the virus.

3. Down-regulating FGF -2 signalling which would counter viral induced apoptosis or cell death.

4. Inhibiting inflammatory cytokines by interfering with the NF [nuclear factor] – kappa B pathway.

5. Reducing cleaved Caspase 3 levels. Caspase 3 cleavage occurs in cell apoptosis.

In summary – resveratrol promotes cell survival and reduces viral induced apoptosis.

The various possible mechanisms for resveratrol boosting the immune system’s response to infection and chronic inflammatory diseases include the following:

1. As above – resveratrol targets SIRT 1, NF – kappa B and inflammatory cytokines.

2. Targeting adenosine monophosphate kinase.

3. Enhances antioxidant enzymes.

4. Suppresses TLR or Toll Like Receptor which causes inflammation.

5. Suppresses pro-inflammatory genes’ expression.

In summary – resveratrol enhances the immune system via the many different biological mechanisms listed above.

The best way to get your daily resveratrol needs is by consuming either ‘The Wine Doctor’ Resveratrol Enhanced Wine (REW) or ‘Reselixir’ REW; because the best way to absorb resveratrol is via the buccal mucosa or the lining of the mouth, which is what happens when you drink resveratrol as a wine as in Resveratrol Enhanced Wine and not as a capsule or tablet.

Dr Juergen Rissland is the Head of the Institute of Virology at the Saarland University Hospital in Germany. He has stated on the Health Issues show that consuming alcohol would help kill viruses because the virus was susceptible to alcohol because it had a fatty coating. He said, “And the higher the percentage of alcohol, the better it is. For example, if you are a whisky lover, then that certainly isn’t a bad idea.”

Other research backs the use of alcoholic beverages to protect against viruses. An article in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that alcohol drink consumers reduced their risk of getting the common cold, which is caused by a virus, by up to 85 percent. (Reference – Takkouche, B. et al., Intake of Wine, Beer and Spirits and the Risk of Clinical Common Cold, American Journal of Epidemiology, 2002, Vol.155, No. 9, pp. 853-858).

One must always remember to consume alcohol in moderation and not to abuse it.

• Dr Philip Norrie has been a solo family doctor in Sydney for over 40 years. He is also a medical historian with interests in wine and ancient epidemics. His PhD thesis was on the history of wine as a medicine for the past 5,000 years. The book based on the PhD thesis – The History of Wine as a Medicine from its Beginnings in China to the Present Day – was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2019 and has won the Best Wine/Drink and Health Book Category at the prestigious Gourmand Drink Book Awards for 2020.

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